Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/448/5347

From The Socialist newspaper, 13 July 2006

RMT conference: Striking back against privatisation

THE RMT, railworkers and seafarers' union, conference met in Dublin last week to face up to attacks from employers on privatisation, pensions and pay.

Ken Smith

Strike action across the entire tube network was threatened if Transport for London goes ahead with plans to privatise the East London line. An emergency resolution condemned the plans which could see the line handed over to private companies after it reopens in 2010, when an extension of the line is expected to be finished.

Socialist Party member Bob Law, a driver on the East London line and delegate to the conference, warned: "Privatisation is dangerous - look at all the disasters on the mainline railway since privatisation and then there's the problems arising from the part privatisation of the tube."

Bob attacked the now New Labour London Mayor Ken Livingstone who had gone from being an opponent of privatisation when he was standing as an Independent for Mayor to now being one of the keenest backers of the privatisation plans.

Bob pointed out that Livingstone's 'new' position was because he now fully supported New Labour's privatisation mania.

The threat of industrial action against changes to railworkers' pension schemes had recently forced rail industry employers to retreat from their original plans and concede the establishment of a Rail Pensions Commission.

The need to defend current final salary pension schemes was a dominant theme at the conference.

Brian Munro, a delegate from London Underground, said that pension plans across all sectors were a serious attack on the working class in this country.

He said that the union had run a magnificent campaign on the mainline and that would now be needed on London Underground where management wanted to change the balance of power away from workers' representatives on the pensions board.

Bob Law warned that privatisation of the rail industry was undermining pension provision.

Many workers, he said, were facing poverty within weeks of retirement. Consequently, many were going back into work at lower wages and were being used to undercut the pay and conditions of workers who had not retired.

Bob argued that the union movement needed to fight for decent pensions for all so that when people retired the wouldn't be forced back into work on poverty pay rates.

Trevor Jordan, a Preston delegate, told how his pension scheme had ended after privatisation and transfer of his job.

He said: "Poverty in old age is going to be a reality for me", explaining how he had been encouraged to take out a stakeholder pension by his new company. He said that he will be paying in £30 a month for the next 20 years or more in order to realise a pension of only £300 a year when he retires.

RMT assistant general secretary Pat Sikorski pointed out that there had been a 60%-80% loss in value on money purchase schemes taken out a decade ago.

A report on the debate on political representation will appear in next week's issue.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation £

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 13 July 2006:


Socialist Party NHS campaign

NHS: Uniting to fight the cuts

Hewitt hides from health protesters

Save our hospital

TUC lobby


Youth and Education

Low Pay,No Way!

Parents win High Court victory


Socialist Party campaigns

Welfare Reform Bill scapegoats disabled people!

Fighting the far-right BNP

Wales launches Campaign for New Workers' Party


International socialist news and analysis

Israeli regime’s air invasion of Lebanon threatens regional war

Another stolen presidency in Mexico?

Netherlands: Coalition government falls apart


Socialist Party workplace news and analysis

RMT conference: Striking back against privatisation

"Join the union to change the union"


Socialist Party feature

How the farmworkers got organised

National Blood Service: Fighting job cuts


Socialist Party review

'Storming heaven': Battle for Spain - The Spanish Civil War


Socialist Party National committee report

Build the Socialist Party


 

Home   |   The Socialist 13 July 2006   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Privatisation:

triangleLondon floods: Privatisation and heavy rain are a dangerous mix

triangleFight the health and care bill

triangleGreat British Railways shake-up offers no end to profiteering

triangleHaringey: Hands off our GP practices

triangleFighting NHS privatisation

RMT:

triangleEast Mids train guards strike

trianglePost-pandemic railway battles loom

triangleRMT: Support Alan Pottage for assistant general secretary

triangleRMT: Militant industrial and political strategy must be fought for

Pension:

triangleDefend the triple lock - Fight to end poverty pensions

triangleNews in brief

triangleArcadia and Debenhams closures: Nationalise to save jobs and pensions

London:

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Cuba protests - what do they represent?

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Defend a woman's right to choose

Pensions:

triangleLessons of the 2011 pensions strike: when workers showed their power

Rail:

triangleTransport union RMT tells members: refuse to work in unsafe conditions

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

28/7/21

Colleges

Further education set for industrial action over pay

28/7/21

London

Thousands march to Reclaim Pride

28/7/21

Youth Fight for Jobs

Jobs and homes for all

28/7/21

Sheffield

Sheffield Uni UCU fights archaeological dept closure

28/7/21

Workers

Fight Freeports to stop bonfire of workers' rights

28/7/21

East London

East London resident fighting eviction again

28/7/21

Barnsley

Barnsley 'Big Green Space' protest

28/7/21

Jobs

Youth Fight for Jobs is officially relaunched

28/7/21

Socialist

Selling the Socialist

28/7/21

Socialist

Scottish socialist breaks running record

28/7/21

Capitalism

Flood devastation in Europe

28/7/21

Bin workers

Bexley bin workers strike for better pay

23/7/21

Unison

New left NEC meets - Organise the fight back now

22/7/21

Pay

Public sector pay - Prepare for action!

21/7/21

PCS

Government departments move to impose pay cuts

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 077 7221 5281

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


July 2021

June 2021

May 2021

April 2021

March 2021

February 2021

January 2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999